Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We - XcellCHESS Club - Became USA Amateur Team West Champion 2017

Somehow this happened. We became champion in US Amateur Team West Championship held at Santa Clara Convention Center during February 18th to 20th! Out of 6 rounds, we won first 5 rounds straight and drew the last round. Hayk, Ashrita, Arul and Akshithi - all played wonderfully and delivered at critical moments. I am surprised with my own performance as well. My personal score was 4 win and 1 loss. With this my rating jumped up from 2000 to 2097. So now we will play the winners of other 3 zones - East, North and South  in April 22nd for the title of National Amateur Team Champion!

Below is top 4 standings out of 65 teams. Click here for the full list and here for individual performances. Also here is the event summary from us chess site. I noticed a common pattern that the teams who were well balanced, did better than the top heavy teams (as by nature their 4th board has to be weak). 

GM Christian Chirila wrote a news coverage for US chess on this event titled - Grandmaster Amateurs: XcellChess Prevails in Competitive Team West.
1XCELLCXcellCHESS Club (2104.5) - Cnt: 5 W41 W17 W20 W10 W9 D35.517.561.25
NM Hayk Manvelyan (2295) 4.5
Aksithi Eswaran (1664) 1.0
WIM Ashritha Eswaran (2252) 3.5
Ashik Uzzaman (1974) 4.0
Arul Viswanathan (1897) 4.5
2BCC-BISHThe Berkeley Bishops (2172.0) - Cnt: 4 W36 W12 W8 D3 W49 W95.51653.75
IM David $m Pruess (2408) 4.0
NM Bryon Doyle (2203) 4.0
Michael Lei Wang (2177) 4.5
Michael Anderson (1900) 3.5
3BCWEEKThe Berkeley Chess Weekenders (2184.5) - Cnt: 4 W28 W13 W15 D2 W11 D15.01770
NM Jack Qiji Zhu (2399) 2.5
FM Ladia Jirasek (2343) 5.5
NM Gabriel Jame Bick (2280) 5.5
Kevin Yanofsky (1716) 3.5
4BAC-WARBAC Warriors (2164.3) - Cnt: 4 W32 W18 D6 D7 W13 W105.01660.5
FM Konstan Kavutskiy (2445) 4.0
Vinesh Ravuri (2133) 4.5
Theodor Biyiasas (2121) 3.5
Manas Manu (1958) 4.0

Here are the games I played.
  • Round 1 - I didn't play so that our fifth player Akshithi could play.
  • Round 2 - I won against National Master Richard Koepcke (2200)
  • Round 3 - I won against Jamieson Pryor (2015)
  • Round 4 - I won against National Master Annie Wang (2276)
  • Round 5 - I won against Derek O'Connor (2167)
  • Round 6  - I lost to National Master Gabriel Jame Bick (2280)

Update: US Chess Life May 2017 issue covered our news here at page 30.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Killer Dutch by Simon Williams

I started studying The Killer Dutch by Simon Williams recently after I purchased it from amazon.com . I had weakness against 2.d4 as black all along my life and I hope to get over it with the Dutch defense. I already went through Simon's chess.com series on this twice.

The book starts with some games played GM Williams to give a feel of the opening. Then it delves deep inside the opening theories. He deviated from the regular move of Dutch Defence 1. d4 f5 to 1.d4 e6 2. c4 f5 to avoid sidelines and gambits against Dutch defence. But that also means White can get into The French Defence in move two by playing 1. d4 e6 2. e4. But usually people who dont start with the move 1.e4 are usually not eager to transpose to French Defence as White after playing d4 or c4 or Nf3 in the first move.

Be aware of GM Roman's recommendation against Dutch Defence here -

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

Game #4

Game #5

Game #6

Game #7

Game #8

Game #9

Game #10

Game #11

Game #12

Game #17

Ashik vs Ethan, 7th Round, Golden State Open